Recently I had a chance to test out two instant pasta. They are the Cheese Macaroni Pazzta by Maggi and Instant Pasta Chicken Bolognese variant from Knorr.
Both the Maggi and Knorr instant pastas are instant pastas. The Maggi one requires cooking for 5 minutes whereas the Knorr one requires steeping* for 5 minutes. (*steeping = soaking food or tea in water or other liquid to extract its flavour or to soften it)
So here goes the Knorr Pasta preparation
Pour the contents of Knorr’s instant pasta into a bowl. Spiral pasta is provided.
Add the packet of ingredients. Then add 110ml of hot boiling water, cover and stand for 5 minutes.
The pasta is ready to be served.
Now, let’s prepare the Maggi Cheese Macaroni Pazzta
Pour the macaroni into a pot followed by the packet of ingredients
Add 250ml of water, turn on the fire and cook/simmer for 5 minutes.
Your cheese macaroni is ready to be served.
Verdict: The Knorr one tasted a bit rubbery, but I think it can be improved if steeped for a little while longer or even cooked for a short time like the Maggi one.
Taste wise, I can’t really compare the two because the variants I had are very different ie Chicken Bolognese vs Cheesy Macaroni. The taste is personal, do you like cheesy or tomato based sauces?
Convenience wise, this is great for students, singles, office workers who wish to have a quick meal or on mom’s lazy days but if mom is not lazy, I think it is better for mom to add another 15 minutes to cooking time to cook pasta from almost scratch using canned pasta sauce. Of course if you really want to make everything from scratch it requires a lot more time!
Convenience wise, Knorr is better because you have a cup variant too and all you need to do is pour boiling water and let it stand just like instant cup noodles whereas the Maggi one needs to be cooked for a short while which may not be convenient for those without cooking facilities.
Price wise, you need to compare satchet vs satchet. Knorr is about RM2.50 for a 40g satchet (if you break it down, usually the satchets are sold in 3s) whereas Maggi is about RM3.30 for a 64g or 70g satchet.
Have you tried the instant pastas? Did you like it?
Knorr Instant Pasta is available in satchets (around RM7.50 for 3x40g) or cup (around RM3.85 for 40g) in the following variants – chicken bolognese, creamy mushroom, cheesy carbonara.
Maggi Pazzta is available in two variants ie Cheese Macaroni and Mushroom Penne at around RM3.30 in satchet form ( (Cheese Macaroni 70g / Mushroom Penne 64g) )
Chinese New Year 2021 starts on 12 February 2021. This means it is almost time to decorate the home again!
Here are some must haves decoration items for your CNY decor.
1. Chinese New Year Lanterns
A pair of Chinese New Year Lanterns are the first thing that greets visitors to a home. Some families will hang the lanterns and keep it there for the entire year changing to a new one for the next new year. Some will keep in the store room after the New Year is over to recycle for the following year. However, some families prefer not to recycle because it is believed that when you recycle, you also recycle your bad luck into the New Year. Out with the old and in with the new is considered good luck for many other things too, not only lanterns.
2. Chinese New Year Flowers
Popular flowers to use for decorating the home during Chinese New Year include the Chinese New Year willows and artificial Chinese New Year plum blossoms flowers or peach blossoms. In the past the Chinese New Year willows used to be in white. Nowadays you can find them in red, pink, purple, blue, green, yellow or just about any colour you fancy to brighten up your room and match your home decor. You can add some CNY Hanging Ornaments to your CNY willows or blossom flowers to give your CNY flower decorations some extra oomph!
3. CNY Hanging Ornaments
CNY hanging ornaments can be used to decorate your Chinese New Year flowers and plants both indoors and outdoors on real plants too. Hanging ornaments are hung up in much the same way as Christmas tree ornaments. Usually they are in red and gold with tassels. Some will come with the word prosperity on it with little gold nuggets, lion dance ornaments or ornaments in the Chinese zodiac animal. These hanging decorations are so easy and versatile to use. You can buy a pack and hand them over to your children and let them surprise you to see where they hang them in the house. We hang them on our doorknobs on cupboard and drawers to put a little bit of red in all the rooms.
4. CNY Spring Festival Couplets
Spring Couplets are a pair of auspicious writings to grace the wall of our homes. Spring couplets express our wishes for the new year and may include wishes of prosperity, good health and harmonious family relationships. They are usually written on red paper in gold or black Chinese calligraphy writing. You could write them yourself on Chinese Red Couplets paper or buy these pre-printed CNY Spring Couplets. Just pick the wordings you prefer and tadaa, you’ve got your wishes ready to be hung up on your wall, usually side by side on both sides of your door.
5. CNY Door Sticker Decoration
Similar to the Spring Couplet, these CNY Door sticker decoration usually come in pairs with some auspicious words or wishes. However, they are usually in cute cartoon character in the zodiac animal and sometimes come in 3-D shapes too.
6. CNY Animal Zodiac Plushies
In more recent years, you can find cute Chinese zodiac animal plushies or soft toys for sale during Chinese New Year. These are great as gifts for kids. Nowadays they are also used as decorations to grace your table top or top of your shelve. The year 2021 is Year of the Ox, so you will see Year of the Ox plushies in many styles. They also come in different shapes and gender so you can buy just one or a whole family of plushies.
7. CNY String Fairy Lights
CNY fairy lights come in many shapes and colour. Preferred colour is red, naturally. You can choose from a variety of shapes for your fairy or string lights including CNY knots, mandarin orange, lanterns, wordings. They are battery operated and can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
8. Chinese New Year Wall Decals Stickers
CNY Wall decals or stickers are a quick and easy way to instantly add a festive feeling to any wall, window or door. You can find them in many designs including lion dance, Families, animal zodiacs, flowers, lanterns. Some are fixed whereas some come in sets and it is up to your creativity to place your stickers in your home
9. CNY Plants
Popular plants to use for CNY decor include the CNY lucky Bamboo (which comes in many interesting shapes), Chrysanthemum plants and CNY lime trees. Plants can be used indoors or outdoors as decoration to brighten up your home for a festive mood.
10. Chinese New Year Ribbons
Those who like to DIY their home decorations will find CNY ribbons and angpow packets useful. Normally we don’t buy angpow packets for decorations. We buy the nice ones to give out and use some recycled ones to cut or fold into shapes for our DIY home decorations. The CNY ribbons usually come in red, gold or pink with or without letterings or wordings.
With these Top 10 CNY Decoration items, your house will be ready to welcome the Chinese New Year with abundant prosperity and joy.
In-laws…. do you buy gifts for your in-laws during Chinese New Year? For CNY it is customary to visit our in-laws and when it comes to visiting, we always bring a gift to our hosts and leave with a little something too. The polite rule is to never to to a house empty handed.
This year, we may not be physically visiting our in-laws due to the MCO/CMCO/RMCO that is in place but it is still nice to send them a little gift. Here are a few CNY gift ideas for in-laws.
This CNY Hamper is for the tea lover. It comes with 1 box Baby Chrysanthemum Herbal Tea Hangzhou (50g) 1 box Rose Herbal Tea Shandong (100g) 1 box Wuyi Shui Xian Oolong Tea Fujian (100g) 1 box Jasmine Green Tea Flower Scented Tea Fujian (75g) 1 pc Perpetual Calendar from Artist Yap Hong Ngee 1 pc Glass Teapot Set – Side Handle (550cc) and Purple Cane Exclusive Red Packets . The Glass teapot set is great for seeping the teas for leisurely afternoons.
This genuine bird’s nest collected from the Niah Caves in Sarawak is perfect for old folks who enjoy bird’s nest in a bottle. In the older days, they used to have to boil the bird’s nest for a long time. Now they come in easy convenient bottles for quick enjoyment by the in-laws. They come in pretty packaging too!
Brand’s Essence of Chicken is just right for seniors who want to be more active. This CNY Octagon Gift Set include 18x 70g bottles of Brand’s Essence of Chicken. As we all know, 18 is an auspicious number especially during Chinese New Year.
Planning to buy one of the above? Click on the images or links above to purchase and use the following discount vouchers to make the most from your CNY shopping.
For New Customers – Use code DDCNYNCP1 to get RM18 off for min spending of RM58
For existing Customers – Use code DDCNYECP1 to get 20% coins cashback for min spending of RM88 capped at 1800 coins.
2021 is Year of the Ox. It is quite trendy these days to wear matching outfits for the whole family from baby, siblings, mum, dad and even gong gong and poh poh. Here are a few cute CNY Family Tshirts for 2021.
It has the words 2021 on it and using “cow” or “ox” font or you can select one with just a cute picture of a cow on it in bright Chinese New Year red naturally. This CNY Family Tshirt 2021 is about RM10 – RM15 per piece so a whole set of 4 assuming you have a family of 4, should set you back about RM50
This red Chinese New Year Family Tee Set is for those who prefer to have not too much design on it. What you have is a design of a little oxen either wearing mens hats, caps, ribbons or sweet hat to differentiate them as a badge on the chest part. This design is cute but not too loud.
Plenty of designs to choose from here. You can either choose the words “niu” which means ox for the Year of the Ox or cute grapics of ox on the tshirts. Sizes start from baby 90cm right up to Dad 5XL! What a wide range! Bundle deals are available too. You get 2% off for purchase of 4 tshirts form this range of 2021 Ox Year T-shirt.
What are the lucky colours for the year of the ox? According to Yearly Horoscope org, your lucky colours depends on your sign as follows:
Rat – red, yellow, silver Ox – pink, emerald Tiger – gray, bronze Rabbit – pink, yellow, green Dragon – red, ruby, gray Snake – light yellow Horse – white and silver Goat – gray, silver Monkey – yellow and bright pink Rooster – pink and blue Dog – yellow, brown, aqua blue Pig – bright red and yellow
Or if Red is just simply not your style, then you can choose some other colours for your family tee like these 2021 Year of the Ox CNY Family Matching Tees in yellow, blue, or even in white or black though you may have to get ready for some good come back when your elderly relatives see you in those colours!
Happy Shopping! While you are shopping for your tees, don’t forget to check out these Huat Huat Deals happening on 18 Jan from 12am to 2am only. Psst.. remember to add to your cart and set your alarm clock!
January 2020 is a great time to get freebies for products you would like to try because as the Chinese New Year is also just round the corner, there will be many new product launches and brands looking to increase their membership base.
It’s only the 3rd day of January and I have managed to redeem samples for 2 brands and signed up for another with a confirmed email to collect or redeem when I get the chance. Isn’t that awesome?
Below are some of the samples I managed to get so far.
1. Sulwhasoo Complimentary Sampling Kit
How to redeem:
Fill up the form on this page, you will be asked to select a Sulwhasoo counter or boutique nearest to you and you will receive an email. Flash the email to redeem. Redemption is valid until 2 Feb 2020 and while stocks last.
Picture on the right is what I received. I received the samples minus the red angpow packet. Maybe they ran out of stock. I didn’t ask because I was in a hurry.
2. Clarins The Golden Touch Challenge and Double Serum Radiance Kit
How to redeem.
Go to the Clarins website campaign page and play a mini game. When you complete the game, you will be led to a page to fill up your email. Once you have done that, you will immediately receive an email.
Picture on the right is how my email looks like. I have yet to redeem so hopefully there will still be stock when I find my way to a Clarins counter or boutique.
Updated. Successfully redeemed the Clarins Double Serum Radiance Kit. The sample is pictured on the left. On the right is the Double Serum with its new look packaging for 2020.
3. Innisfree New Year New Start Kit
How to redeem
I am an Innisfree member so I received the above in my email. You need to flash your email in order to redeem. This New Year New Start Kit is exclusively for the first 2020 members who flash their emails at the store to claim with any purchase (no min limit). If you are an existing member, check your emails. If you are not a member, check with the store to see if you can sign up to become a member and claim. Pictures on the left and bottom are what I received.
If you are not sure what to get at Innisfree, you can try out their sheet mask (RM6) or clay mask. I love the clay mask which you can buy in small capsules of 10ml (RM10). Great for travelling. As you can see in the picture, its almost gone! Since I have these items, I bought a nail polish instead for RM14 in order to redeem my New Year New Start Kit.
4. Enfagrow A+ Milk Powder Samples
Finally, this last one is for parents. Enfagrow A+ Milk Samples sent right to your doorstep!
How to Redeem
If you arrived on this blog via mobile, you will see a pull-up banner as shown below. If you missed it, refresh or return to this blog. You will be able to see it at the bottom of the page. (Note that you can only see this on your phones and not on desktop computer)
Place your finger on the Enfagrow A+ banner and slide up. This will open up the redemption form. Fill in your particulars and your sample will be on its way to you by mail. You are not required to go to the store to redeem the free sample. Sample will be sent to you in 4 – 6 weeks.
Note this is only applicable for moms with kids from age 1 to 6 who have not requested for a sample previously within 1 year.
Happy redeeming! If you
know of any other freebies or free samples for January 2020, do drop me a
comment and I will update this post. Thank you for reading up to here.